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Scottish Government Sets Out Plan to Close Attainment Gap



The Scottish Government has published its Education Delivery Plan, the Deputy First Minister has announced.

The Delivery Plan sets outs the actions required to substantially close the attainment gap over the next five years and deliver a world class education system in Scotland. It will involve further sustained pressure to reduce workload for teachers.

The plan confirms the Scottish Government will:

  • Focus on closing the attainment gap by extending the reach, scope and investment of the Scottish Attainment Challenge over the next five years.
  • Launch a governance and funding review to examine the system changes required to empower schools, devolving funding and more decision-making to schools and communities.
  • Simplify Curriculum for Excellence and significantly streamline the current range of curriculum guidance for teachers, and introduce a simpler set of key resources for the profession by January 2017.
  • Invest in teachers and their skills to ensure we have highly qualified and empowered staff.
  • Move from a “culture of judgement” to a “system of judgement” to provide robust information on the education system to support improvement.

Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education John Swinney, said:

“The Scottish Government will be relentless in its efforts to ensure that every child – no matter where they are from or how well off their family is – has the same opportunities and an equal chance to succeed.

“We must ensure our curriculum, applauded by the OECD, can be delivered so that our teachers are free to teach and our children have the opportunity to learn.

“We will give teachers confidence about what the Curriculum for Excellence expects of them. We will de-clutter the curriculum and strip away anything that creates unnecessary workload for teachers and learners, and we will take forward a new programme of reducing workload in schools. I will directly oversee this activity supported by a panel of teachers whose voice and experience will inform what is taken forward.

“We must create the right structures to encourage and enable everyone to participate fully in school life.

“Our review of governance will explore all options to ensure we create the right balance of autonomy and accountability in our education system. It will consider the changes needed to empower our teachers and schools, seek to devolve decision-making and funding to schools and communities and support the development of school clusters and new educational regions.

“At the same time we will develop proposals for a fair and transparent national funding formula to ensure resources go where they are needed most.

“All of this requires leadership at all levels and by all involved in Scottish education. Investing in the skills, knowledge and confidence of our teachers will create the right culture of empowered leadership.

“Today marks the start of a new journey for Scottish education that will ensure we realise our ambition for excellence and equity for every child and young person in Scotland.”

Notes:

The Education Delivery Plan has been produced following engagement and interaction with children and young people, teachers, parents, local authorities, unions and stakeholders across the education sector and building on the Education Summit which took place on 15 June 2016.

The plan is available at: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Education/Schools

The full text of the Deputy First Minister’s statement to parliament is available at:http://news.scotland.gov.uk/content/default.aspx?NewsAreaId=139

Source: Scottish Government

       
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